This blog turns ten years old today, and I’m stunned by this.
Constancy is not a trait I’ve associated with myself, tending to think of my serial obsessions as something I latch on to and then detach myself from after I have rapaciously extracted their potential.
Blogging was THE thing to do when I started this webpage – a band of energetic, voluble, articulate speakers had sprung up all over India. It was an exciting time – these blogs seemed to raise us beyond ordinary eye level to make eye contact with other people ‘like us’. But gradually, a large number fell off – off blogging, at least. Many decided to save their words for the books they would write, or maintained them as repositories for work written elsewhere. Among the not-so-ambitious, many tired of keeping it up... blogs died and, to my sorrow, were removed.
People’s reading lists no longer include blogs as they used to, reader counts have dropped, and in the ten years between today and 8 Oct 2004, audiences have fragmented rather more severely. In 2004, you had some sort of an elevated stage on which you played out your part; social media has democratised that to such an extent that all people now exhibit much like street musicians – to passing crowds who might stand diverted, perhaps for a minute or five.
Oddly, I’ve stayed on, blogging almost unfailingly every month this decade. I tried to examine this – why do I blog? The fact is, I enjoy it. It’s not about being widely read, though that, when it happens, is very pleasant indeed. It’s that a blog post can be about anything or nothing, as serious or flippant as I wish, it could be one word or five hundred. It’s about putting it down and putting it out. It’s wonderful to be seized by an idea, write it and share it.
I had said once, when I was being self-conscious about this website, that this was to be a mosaic of posts from which a picture of me might emerge. But that, now, seems absurd. How can that be?Sandra Simpson puts across the impossibility of it in a wonderfully poetic haiku:
trying to make
myself understood —
the sun in a spoon
The most that can be achieved is a record of a certain type of chatty mood. Still, it is here, and ten years old. Happy Birthday, Blog!